COMMUNITY ADVOCATES MARK ALLEN AND OTIS MONROE TO MEET WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO DISCUSS GRANT PROGRAM TRANSPARENCY CONCERNS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mark Allen
National Black Wall Street -Chicago
Lead Spokesman (773) 392-0165
Otis Monroe
The Monroe Foundation
                                    COMMUNITY ADVOCATES MARK ALLEN AND OTIS MONROE TOMEET WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY COMMISSION
             EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO DISCUSS GRANT PROGRAM  TRANSPARENCY CONCERNS
Community advocates Mark Allen, chairman of the National Black Wall Street -Chicago and Otis Monroe, CEO, the Monroe Foundationwill meet with Michael Holmes, executive director of the Illinois African American Family Commission on Monday, March 3rd to discuss the concerns their respective organizations have gathered from applicantsthat applied for funding through the African American Small Business Grant Program in January.
Key concerns to be raised are:
– Lack of sensitivity and applicant respect in the manner of sending “Form” notification letters of grant denial (Attached)
– Failure to discuss applicants that have been approved for funding simultaneously with the denial letters
-Failure to disclose to denied applicants the reason(s) for denial instead of again sending a “CHECK LIST” of documents NOT submit ted that may have factor in the denial WITHOUT indicating which document(s) were missing
Otis Monroe of the Monroe Foundation, stated, “On January 4th, over 145 African American small business owners and  non-profits leaders convened in Englewood to learn how to apply for this innovative program launched by Governor Quinn  The Monroe Foundation and the National Black Wall Street Chicago joined together to encourage eligible groups that are African American-led to apply, while working to minimize doubt that and sentiment that this program would be the same old same old……….Well, we think that it was just that”.
Mark Allen of National Black Wall Street Chicago added, :We want the Commission staff and committee members to come back to the community as part of a reconvening so that applicants that attended the January 4th session and were denied, can ask questions for themselves about the decision-making process and keep the process accountable and transparent”.
Leaders plan a press conference at the Office of the Governor if the outcome to the “Talking Points” are not addressed and a commitment to the reconvening is not agreed to.

 
MEETING WITH MICHALE HOLMES-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY COMMISSION
Agenda
TALKING POINTS TO BE COVERED
Ø   Why Wasn’t the Applicant Notification Letter Addressed To the Applicant Instead of “Form Letter”
 
RECOMMENDATION: Letters to be addressed to the Applicant
 
Ø   Why Does the Notification “Checklist” List the Documents Missing so that the Applicant Understands Reason for Decline if Reason is Non-Submittal of Required Documents
 
RECOMMENDATION: Checklist Should List Missing Documentation
 
Ø   Why Haven’t the Grantees Been Announced and When Will the Grantees Be Announced, and How will It Be Communicate, publicly
 
Ø   RECOMMENDATION:  Grantees should be announced through the Commission website, a press release and notification to all the applicants to maintains trust and ensure transparency
 
Ø   Will the Commission work with the Monroe Foundation and the National Black Wall Street Chicago to re-convene the applicants who were not successful to answer questions about the review and decision-making process to ensure continued trust and engagement in future RFQ rounds
 
Ø   RECOMMENDATION: We propose a re-convening of the applicants from the January 4th  meeting at  Marquette Bank to have AAFC staff and members respond to submittal and decision-making process questions

marksallen2800@aol.com
Chairman & COO National Black Wall Street Chicago
(Rev. Willie T. Barrow Consumer Education and Consumer Action Project)
Founder/Lead Organizer, Illinois Voter Restoration Civic Education Project
Chief of Staff to National Chairman, National Black Wall Street USA
“And The Ordinary People Said” News Blog, www.chicagonow.com
Chairman, Community Reinvestment Organizing Project
Listed in 2012 Edition Who’ Who In Black Chicago
4655 South King Drive, Suite 203
Chicago, Illinois 60653
(Office) 773-268-6900 or direct 773-392-0165
The Rev. Al Sharpton calls Mark Allen “one of Chicago’s legendary political activists and one of the best organizers of his generation”

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